Monday, October 26, 2009

Looking through old computer folders

and I came across something I wrote a while back. For some reason, I'm just up for sharing!

most of my times begin in the war zone…I show up with a sour attitude which I’m not proud of and say “ok, God, I’m here” and I just sit for a while and stare at scripture that does not penetrate my caged heart. But then I start to confess my perceived thoughts of a God who is not near and does not care and will not show up and I actually here what I am saying and realize my experience is to the contrary and my heart softens as I am honest with the One who created me, knit me together fiber for fiber, gave me the emotions I live with, the attitude that perpetuates my problems, the heart that beats in my ears when all is silent

Showing up is so important, transformation follows.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Press fruit and you get juice.

It amazes me, when I am pressed and crunched in life, when my time is being demanded in many directions-this is when I am filled with inspiration to write, share, etc. An outlet for all the incoming, maybe.

Ok, I'm not about to teach you anything from statistics or anatomy tonight, but none-the-less, a download before I drift toward coveted sleep.

Life these days looks like:
-pages and pages of reading
-stacks of papers
-ti 89 calculators
-lots of eraser bits (mistakes:) )
-enya (pandora)
-an awkward walk (due to a shoulder bag filled with 50lbs of books)
-orange highlighters
-pretty coffee
AND me! Wrapped up in a scarf, tucked under a hat, iphone beating to the rhythms of Enya, propped on chair, hugging a mug, lost in my own world as I chase Him who has inspired this fresh, exhilarating path...which includes...
-pages and pages of reading
-stacks of papers
-ti 89 calculators
-lots of eraser bits (mistakes:) )
-enya (pandora)
-an awkward walk (due to a shoulder bag filled with 50lbs of books)
-orange highlighters
-pretty coffee

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

This time of year...

is back to school. I got a hair cut, I've gutted my closet (this happens all the time though), and I'm relishing the last days of August...all murmurs of the past and preparation for Labor day weekend and back to school. It's so ingrained in our lifestyles from age 6 on up, and sometimes at even earlier ages. And I've made a life-changing decision and am taking on the title, "non-traditional" student. I'm committing myself to school again and pursuing my second bachelor's degree, BSN= Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Over the past few months and especially 6 weeks, I've been doing some major research and thinking, reflecting on the past, present, and forging the journey forth! Suddenly, something fits---makes sense for me right now---puts wind and excitement in my sails---gives me structure to live, thrive, spend my life in. So, this is me, heading back to school!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Thinking much on prayer

God does not live in the finite, but in the infinite. He does not see matters as 'big' or 'small' because He lives in the infinite. Possibilities everywhere. Pray as a necessity, with faith, pray all things.

Mark 11
22 Jesus was matter-of-fact: “Embrace this God-life. Really embrace it, 23 and nothing will be too much for you. This mountain, for instance: Just say, ‘Go jump in the lake’—no shuffling or shilly-shallying—and it’s as good as done. 24 That’s why I urge you to pray for absolutely everything, ranging from small to large. Include everything as you embrace this God-life, and you’ll get God’s everything. 25 And when you assume the posture of prayer, remember that it’s not all asking. If you have anything against someone, forgive—only then will your heavenly Father be inclined to also wipe your slate clean of sins.”

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


This area of my life has seen a little more action recently, but it hasn't really been all that exciting! I think dating is great, but I also feel it's overrated when there is no mutual connection. I'm not the type to date , just for the sake of dating... And I think if you're reading this, you already know that about me. But I dare say it is definitely necessary and it is allowing me to pull out more of the core, essential patterns in a partner that I'm looking for! A most recent experience, I found myself on the first as well as second date working very hard at making any sort of conversation! Usually not difficult for me, but in this case there was not much return or assistance! Ugh!!! The show must go on and so the story continues. At any rate, it's experiences like this that move me forward. On with the journey!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

June Photos- Post #1

My housemate Annie (center) was unable to properly celebrate her 30th birthday back in December due to our outrageous snow storm. So, a few of us gathered to celebrate her half birthday with a successful surprise party at Urban Fondue.

Annie, Steph, and Gretchen celebrating Annie's "30.5"!

Jill, Stephen, and Annie.

My good friends Katie (roomie from Vancouver days) and Karin who I spent time with at YL Malibu in Canada back in 2002! Both are friends I'm rediscovery Portland with, happy hour and hiking!

Where is June? {Post #2}

I totally missed any kind of random release of thoughts in June. I'm gettting more and more out of the habit of getting on here to process and I miss it, I do. I keep telling myself I will write an update once a week...if for no other reason than it being an outlet that I allow (mostly) free-flowing thoughts, as well as strange and passion filled hopes, reflections, and contemplations.

June went by much too swiftly, but was filled with fun. I am enjoying my neighborhood, I am enjoying the house, I am enjoying my housemates, and I am taking in more and more of Portland every week.

New ideas surface constantly. Some stick while most fade. Most recently has been a return to the ever occuring perplexity and wonder of prayer. A very good friend and I are beginning to meet every other week early on Friday mornings to talk about those things which we feel drive our existence ie faith and aspects of a life lived turned toward Jesus. We aren't meeting to explain to each other what we think are the answers, it seems more questions than answers rise out of our conversations and that is thanks to a bit more wisdom as time passes. It's GOOD to have someone to process with and thankfully I am surrounded by people who walk that path alongside me.

A great friend is one who walks with you asking you questions all along the way and allowing you to come to your own determination.

And, I keep coming back to the idea of school. I am ultimately headed that direction and have released the need to fix it into a time table and instead am discovering the possibilities. That's all I'll share on that for now. I need to work out my own way before I am swayed by too many opinions. And, I need to be sure of it myself before I allow others to fasten the idea as a fact instead of just a possibility!

So, July- here you are and I can already hear celebrations of Independence Day.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


describes my life!

movement to a beautiful house with some great ladies. i'm so glad to be in a house and it's wonderful to have roommates again.

(the new place)

movement up a hill with some co-workers yesterday, the gorge on the WA side and a trek up Hamilton's mountain. waterfalls to keep us energized and a great view from the top. i'm planning to take advantage of living in the nw again and it's soon summertime!

(planning to top that point)

(beautiful views from the ridgeline)

(a waterfall shared it's mist to cool us)

movement to the rhythms of christopher williams about a month ago. annie (one new roomie) and i hosted the singer/songwriter for an evening and what a great night.

(so great to have a crowd gather in the apt. and shake up the neighborhood!)

movement toward fullest life possible. i'm in a continued conversation with my Creator as to how i might best live each year, each day of the year, each hour of the day, each minute of the hour. life, a gift, and i want to love well and live well.

because i am alive, i will...

Sunday, April 05, 2009

You should be FIRED...

I know it sounds harsh, but you really didn't do your job today! Your sign, the one you carried through the whole race (thanks for that), said "9:30 pace setter" when in fact you were running at a 9 and even possibly a sub 9 minute mile. So, you really shouldn't be a pace-setter if you're not going to run accordingly.


We took off out of the shoot this morning at 7:01.07am, rounded the corner to cut under I-5 before crossing into downtown PDX, and came upon the pace-setter for the 9-and-a-half minute mile group. I told the girls this morning that I hoped to finish in under 2:05 so when we saw the runner carrying the sign, we decided to follow suit. After about 2 miles we started to feel like the pace was a bit quick and finally at mile 3, I checked our time and indeed we were under 9 minutes per mile! I think the runner finally realized she was going too fast because she slowed up significantly at mile 3. Well, I'm really not complaining, just teasing and it made for a few jokes during the race that she should be fired! It was a great distraction through some of the uphill climbs and I'm actually thankful she set us off to a GOOD, STRONG pace to finish the race in 1:59.22! I'm ecstatic to have finished in under 2 hours, even if only by seconds.:)

Connie and Alisa were great company on this run and we had phenominal running weather. Currently, I'm slouched down in my comfy couch and enjoying the conclusion of this training stint. Thanks to the neighborhoods around my apartment, the tunes on my iPod, and the ups and downs of NE/SE PDX-it's been a good round. I'm looking forward to the next!

Monday, March 30, 2009

away today...

Away today on a personal retreat. Looking back thru old journals,
sitting here at Skamania lodge with a fire and a view of the Columbia
yet my soul is a bit disturbed from these old writings..."Dream of all
Dreams" WOW!!! Not what I dream about these days. Why have I spent so
much time in angst over what God was up to in my life. I get the
feeling I missed out on some living, but then am reminded of the
process of the journey. That immaturity, ridiculous prayers and
dreams, stages, chapters, and growth are just a part of life and
living. I think it's safe to say, I truly feel alive and in my own
skin thanks to escaping my 20's!!! And partly thanks to those old
journals that (though painful to reread) allowed me to empty myself
onto a page. I will look back at these years and feel some of the
same, some pain from prayers seemingly unattended to by the hand of my
Father, yet with swells of hope for the life He IS giving.

I'm sitting with 1 question today and have not been able to wrangle
the many thoughts into a simple answer. The question, "What RIDICULOUS
prayer are you praying in this season?". It's not that I am unaware of
my wants desires needs etc, but how do you answer that...what is so
ridiculous that the only way to explain it is "but God." And how can I
simplify it into 1 ridiculous prayer when truthfully there are
potentially many. But God, so capable "and the reality is nothing is
too difficult for God." So, pray away I will, all my ridiculous
prayers, and be happy to live in to life as I wish I might have in
those old journals.

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Blog #2 for Today (INSPIRATION SWELLS)

Pardon my disheveled thoughts...running causes my mind to jump to and fro...

Just finished 8 miles, best training run yet. Of course, how could it not be running along the Coquille river, alone with my thoughts and iPod. The weather parted for me as I headed out. It's been wet and chilly, I just ran in the sun and mild temperatures. :) Walked out the door with iPod in hand. Usually plug in U2 or some tempo, upbeat music to keep me moving, but today I needed something different, something more. I needed a good run. Scrolled through to a mix Annie made me entitled "Because He Love You." Prayed, "Lord I need to be inspired today. Inspire me through this run." OK!
Some lyrics I just must share from this run-----

"I didn't promise you skies painted blue, or all colored flowers all your days through. I didn't promise you sun with no rain, joys without sorrow, peace without pain. All that I promise is strength for this day, rest for my worker, light on your way. I'll give you truth when you need it, My help from above. Undying friendship, My unfailing love."

Please have a'll hit you at the core.

Oh! The whole cd is full of lyrics stirring my soul that I actually forgot I was running. That happens every so often, when my feet and breathing are in sync and I am allowed too get lost in thought and prayer. Thanks God, for a lovely run and some inspiration.

One last thought to share from my run. I'm captured by pictures that bring about the idea of faith, you can see part of the path before you, but the rest is left to trusting in what you can't see. You've see a couple of these before, but a new one from today too!

Cocoa Beach Board Walk

Above: cable for zip line through canopies in Costa Rica. The bar is where my left hand held tight over the canyon below! Could not see where the end was...

Powers, the road running along the Coquille River.

A few steps beyond my own...

I know I've mentioned previously how great it has been to be back in Portland and reconnecting with people face to face, a gift and a treasure. Sometimes it feels like no time has passed in my quick stint apart from this city though it becomes obvious when I ponder life then and now. Obvious in how I live, living more fully and less stressed about what I need to do, where I need to be, who I need to be, how I need to live...everyday is filled with something unusually wonderful and that seems just a simple matter of perspective.

Last week I dropped in to see Rena and we spent an entire afternoon visiting, about life, present-past-future. I always leave our visits feeling secure in where I am and what God is doing around me. There is something settling about just being with certain people who have walked a few steps beyond my own. Whenever we connect, she always reminds me she has been praying for me and wondering what's been going on in my life! Rich counsel hovers our conversation without even formally making an entrance into the room. We drift in and out discussing life, God, people in our lives, travel... it is always a gift!

Monday, March 16, 2009


Spring, lovely Spring! The flowers are popping out, it's 7:22 and still light out, the sun (was, will be again soon) shining...signs of life are coming from multiple sources, it's always good for the soul when the winter breaks and newness comes through.

And spring cleaning!!! Actually, I don't think I have any spring cleaning to do because it tends to happen monthly in my world. I don't know why, but I love getting rid of stuff that I no longer have use for. I think it's the idea that someone else could probably get more use out of this _________ that's been sitting in the closet for the last year. Minimalism becomes me. In fact, I have a feeling (have recently owned the feeling) regarding a particular neurotic pressure...I feel pressure to read everything that comes in the mail...fliers, magazines (cover to cover), inserts...not necessarily ads, thankfully etc. And I've realized this stems from that innate psycholocial pressure to get rid of things. Read the magazine and put it away. Read the mail and put it in the recycling bin. I do not like things to pile up. Alas, I am quite unsuccessful in this and am learning to let it go! It's so insignificant in life! Yes, there are magazines on my table and bits of mail still to be read! I'd really rather be outside as life springs up than sitting in my place reading cover to cover!

P.S. It's a bad idea for you to send me a subscription to the Oregonian!:)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The 'fish' that got away...

:) This post begins with a smile, I'm smiling at your comment, "UR," from the last post. :) Another smile! Well, I can't say there was one fish in particular that got away, but rather a few fish that have "bumped" the line. I think that's what dad calls it, when a fish swims past, but doesn't take the bait. Oh dear Uncle, you will most certainly know when one is on the line (Kind of like the time you had the sturgeon and he unexpectedly took y'all for a ride! Am I getting the story right?)

On another note, one thing I'm realizing in my return to the big city of PDX is the concept of "I know no strangers." Sure, there are strangers, but I either run into someone I know, am somehow connected to a new face through a mutual friend, or I just make new friends quickly. Let me see if I can explain....

The past few days, I have had a friend from the Bandon Dunes (one of the chefs I worked with) visiting and we ate our way through Portland. Last night, we headed out for a lovely evening at a local, small, wine bar just down the street from my place. It was dead all evening so the owner pulled up a chair and began to enlighten our present understanding of food and wine. Quite entertaining and informative. Fairly quickly, we had another person join the table, then another and another. All of the 'joiners' knew each other because they were all studying for their master's in wine...Sommeliers (pronounced so-mall-yay...basically). It really was facinating to hear the process and all the elements that go into producing wine. Well, we ended up spending the entire evening sitting there with strangers, talking as if we'd all known each other for years. I often wonder about situation like this and ask, "how did that happen," but more importantly am pleased that it does.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

short thoughts

i'm living in a frequency this week in which i feel as if my thoughts are short circuiting. i have trouble completing sentences and more importantly thoughts. so, here's the short list:

i'm most likely moving again. to a house in the neighborhood with a few other gals. sharing walls with my neighbor is causing tension in my life. a house, please!

my feet hurt-standing and walking in circles all day...this may be a contributor to my short thoughts... all day i'm humming soy, coffee, wheat, whites only, mocha add shot ..................i really like my job! (i'm being serious)

i had dinner tonight with a couple who live in bolivia (south america) and who i continue to meet in my travels to central and south america (including cuba). i wonder what may unfold when these meetings continue to happen. AND will obama raise the embargo?

boys keep dropping in and out of my life. i'll let you know when one sticks for longer than usual. until then, be at peace with the knowledge that there are in fact still fish in the sea! :)

i finally have a couch. i'm still sitting in my wooden chair looking at the couch across the room. it's a nice couch!

my fridge is pretty empty and not because i don't go to the grocery store. i'm learning that it is actually possibly cheaper to meet friends for happy hour than to keep a stocked kitchen. food spoils quickly when your feeding one. (social reasons not included in preceding comment)

i attended an ash wednesday service this past week. the mantra rattling through my head from that evening, the phrase they continued to repeat as they marked every individuals forehead with ashes in the sign of the cross "remember, from dust you came, to dust you shall return."

i subconsciously think i'm still in florida where the winter weather is chilly (40's to 50's) for a few days and then back in the 70s. i keep thinking warm weather is just a few days away and it is not yet spring.

i'm getting wrinkles. i don't know if this is stress from my neighbor or age related. if it is the latter, i welcome them for they mean that i have lived many fine days. if the former, let them disappear and be replaced with time, not stress.

i'm getting old. saturday night, 10:17 pm and this chick is off to bed!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


(I'm not going to comment on my disappearance from blogging (though I just did!). )
Quick update: I am an employed woman now and enjoying my job as a "bartender" at a great, well established Portland restaurant just 5 blocks from my apartment. I put bartender in quotes because I don't feel my job is what one traditionally thinks of when they hear the word. My barista experience has come back to provide a fun job in this crazy economy and I'm thankful. Blah blah blah, I don't really feel like talking about the surfacey events in my life and my intent with my musings on here is to offer more heart spoken, vulnerable contemplations on my life, maybe more so my inside life though my outside life and inside life are married and I intend to keep it that way. Here I go on a tangent...............I don't desire to live one without the other and this blog has been an essential part of the process to let my inside world out! :)

Here we go, journeying forward, again.

So, I recently (last November) spent a weekend with my former employer from Florida, Greg Wiens and another one of the staff members, Max Strothers from Florida. I was invited to Kennewick, WA to sit in on a church consultation. I won't go into details about that because it would take pages and is not the point. My time in Florida was MONUMENTAL-STRATEGIC-FOREVER IMPRESSING on my development. It has not stopped and I continue to desire this for my own life because it has channeled itself into deep, moving conversations into other lives as well. That time with Greg and Max led to another opportunity for personal development. During my Orlando venture, Greg introduced me to new ideas and tools for personality assessment and knowing who I am, how I'm wired, what makes me tick etc. Something he required for staff and which I embraced wholeheartedly. I even had to take a few tests before I went to Florida for the interview. This was just the beginning of my exposure and upon my trip to Kennewick, Max offered more of the same. So, this past week I spent a few hours taking personality tests--- emotional intelligence, conflict management, how I operate in certain situations, how I view the world, myself etc etc. on and on! I love this stuff! Just yesterday, I spent a long phone conversation going over the details of the assessment as Max took me through the results and showed me where he was reading especially between the lines. I am continually being informed which causes me to keep working out the details in life. For example, I am an avoider and accommodater in conflict situations...not good because then I begin to destroy the inside of me while the other person is happily contented to win over the situation. I'm not saying that's bad for them, just that it's not good to deal with conflict by avoiding it, HELLO. I think we all know this, I'm asking Max, "How do I begin to operate differently, how do I approach those situations." Over the course of the phone call, insight fell before me as my phone went dead. We decided I would chew on what I had and discuss more again soon. Again, I love this stuff! If you're curious about yourself, I can suggest some great books.
Parker Palmer-Let Your Life Speak
Tom Rath-StrengthsFinder 2.0 (Includes a phenominal test to discovering your wonderful abilities)
Marcus Buckingham-Now, Discover Your Strengths (the first version of StrengthsFinder 2.0)
Gary Chapman-The Five Love Languages

Keep checking me, I'm lining them up so you're not bombarded with one blog update!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Something is Brewing

Let's just say it's felt like a long time since I've had inspiration to write out my thoughts and share. I haven't understood why, the ebb and flow effect I guess, but I sense a newness stirring and a desire to get back on here with my inside thoughts!

The last few weeks, there have been a handful of nights where I've woken up at 4:30AM for no apparent reason. I'm just far enough "out there" to believe that sometimes God has something to do with those early stirrings. I've actually asked on occasion for Him to wake me if there's something I need to pray for or listen for. It's in those midnight hours where white noise ceases to exist, my thoughts have stopped running in circles, and I'm too out of it to be concerned about the next days events...that's when He slides in and stirs. It's exciting to me as well, I feel like I get to partner in something bigger than my individual life and daily stresses. So......I......Pray. Whatever/whoever comes to mind. And then I sensed Him asking, "Steph, what do you need?" And I answered listing off things in my life that I'd like to see some answered prayer, specifically in the line of a job. And then as I rambled on with my list, I sensed Him bending the question, "Steph, what does you heart need?" I instantly knew the answer! God I need to know You care about my little life and circumstances right now. I really need to see you step in the gap and move on my behalf.

I believe He is and will fill in where I have need. I've been reading through Colossians over and over the last 6 weeks. Sometimes verses just stick and the one hanging on my thoughts...

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught and overflowing with thankfulness. -Col. 2:6

That's something I can chew on for...a year perhaps! What does it mean for my life to receive Christ? How do I live and continue to live in Him? Hard times? Easy times? How am I rooted in Him? What/who is part of the process of my being built up in Him? How am I strengthened in the faith? Am I overflowing with thankfulness? When I look around, is life simple (as it should be) and am I grateful as I should be?
I believe 2009 is going to be an incredible year for me. I'm not special, that's not why I think it's going to be great. I'm just barely wise enought to know it's not about me and I just want to make the most of what is and not pine for what is not. Carpe diem! Seize the day!